Sunday, February 14, 2016

Date with Imperfection

I went on a Valentine's date with my husband on Friday night. It was a great date......full of laughter, really great food, my favorite companion, and my children were at the babysitters (every mother everywhere slightly cheers inside at that last statement). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my children - they are amazing little humans, but I love them better when I get a chance to be with my husband at Mai Thai restaurant with coffee in hand every couple of months. It's a proven science. Plus, my parents always told me from my earliest growing up years, that after I married the man God would gift me with, I needed to remember to continue to date him - because everything goes down when mommy and daddy aren't in love with each other. Word.

So the evening was probably one of my favorites with my husband. This last week my emotions have been a bit raw. Okay, for the last year they have been raw, but that's for a post down the road entitled, "Talking Yourself Out Of Ministry In Four Steps", followed by the next post which will be called, "But God Still Calls". 

My husband drove up to the train depot which looks out over the beautifully lit downtown Boise. The cloudy night sky was glowing a bit from the city lights. Chris turned to me and asked, "So, what do you want to do with our lives?". A funny and completely perfect question for me that evening. Hilarious, because we're doing exactly what God has birthed in our hearts over the last 5 years, and equally daunting, because there was some digging that my husband was asking me to do within myself. 

I chuckled. Then I started to cry.

Simple tears, not too quickly....but just enough. No ugly cry for this conversation, but the kind of tears that were from deep within, from a guarded place. 

"I don't know.....(25 minutes of talking all of this through with him)...But I know He can use my overwhelming imperfections for something in the Kingdom." I told him about my earlier time with Jesus that day. I had left the house after he had come home from his run - he had the day off, which was a blessing. I needed to go be by myself. I knew hormones were not helping my state of mind, and I needed to be okay by the time our date came, so I needed to get away with my Creator - because Jesus always makes things better. Although sometimes He just makes thing more complicated - can I get an Amen?! 

I had stolen away to Starbucks, because coffee is one of my love languages, and Jesus speaks to me pretty well in that language. So as I sat and opened His Word (the Bible), I told Him I didn't know where to read. I had been reading in Isaiah, but I had only been reading there because that was the next book in line - I was reading through the Bible. But I didn't want to read there anymore, and that meant that I wasn't going to finish reading through the Bible in the right order. *Back Story - my parents are amazing people, and taught my brother and I from a young age to dig into God's Word. It's a beautiful and amazing story of God's grace and love for us, and how deeply humanity fights His grace and love, but really should just realize the depth of His grace and love, and receive and embrace it. It really is amazing. Anyway, my parents had us reading through the Bible every year from a very young age. If you do 2 chapters in the Old Testament and 1 in the New Testament, it gets you through in 1 year. However, when you add that rhythm or discipline into a radically over-responsible person (me), it becomes a rule....and rules become daunting and legalistic, and sometimes even, well, ugh.....

Here I sat with my Bible opened to Isaiah. I started to journal. And it was the raw kind of journaling - "I am terrible at this, Lord. I cannot do this. I'm doing nothing well - not parenting, not wife-ing, not ministry, not any of it. Please help me." That kind of journaling. 

So I closed the book of Isaiah, and did what any good Christian does - the flip trick - you just open the Bible and wherever it opens is where you read. Yep, I know, you've done that too. It's okay. He still speaks. 

So guess where I flipped it - to 2 Samuel chapter 11. It's the part of the book where David, who is currently the king, ends up sleeping with Bathsheba, a beautiful already-married woman, and he gets her pregnant. Long story short, king David has her husband killed in battle because David knows he's totally messed up, and he needs to cover his tracks. The thing is, you can't hide your junk from THE KING. Just sayin'. After she's grieved for her husband, king David has her brought to the palace to be his wife. She gives birth to the baby. The prophet Nathan says, "Dude, THE KING saw everything you just did, and is going to take away your throne and your name and family will be poo-poo for a long time." David immediately repents, and Nathan says, THE KING forgives you, but consequences still exist, even within forgiveness and grace - your baby will die. Ugh. I don't like that part either. Moving on, because I'm not really ready to dig into that theologically yet. 

As I kept reading, the next few chapters in 2 Samuel were full of messiness and weird family issues, and deep sin, followed by God's continued ability to use these losers for The Kingdom Restoration. Pretty much the whole Bible is just that. And I sat in the middle of Starbucks sipping my coconut milk latte with three ristretto shots and three honey's, my King said, "Cherie, if I can use king David for my glory, with all of his crap and messiness, I can use you. I never asked you for perfection. I just asked for your 'yes'. Stop trying to be everything. Stop trying to have it all together. You don't. It's obvious to you and to everyone around you. I just need you and your overwhelming imperfection." 

My. Overwhelming. Imperfection. 

I don't know what I'm supposed to be when I grow up. I obviously am totally failing at most of what I do now. But this I know. My King uses the worst, the most lame, the least qualified, deeply ignorant, highly skilled in nothing-ness, sinful, broken people. I'm totally qualified for that. 

He calls me. I, with all my heart, all of me leaning in, tears streaming down my face, inadequacy tattoed on my forehead, BUT with Hope carved on my heart, say yes. 

That date with my husband was the best. 

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